“I used to be aggressive but now I can control myself” said Joyce Nyoka.
Joyce Nyoka is a south Sudan refugee in Uganda from Yei state in South Sudan, she is settled in Ofua B village of Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement.
She is a mother of 12 children, a widow and her first born is 19 years and the last born is 3 years old. Her husband committed suicide and left her with all the 12 children plus other children they were taking care of plus other dependants.
According to Joyce Nyoka, her husband was working in Juba and she was staying in Yei and the Children. One day her husband came home riding a motorcycle from his place of work up to Yei state where she was staying with the family without informing her that he was on the way coming. When he arrived home, he said “Mama, I have transferred all the money I have to your account, use that for educating the children”. After that he also called all the children and said unto them, “always take advice from the Parents, and if you cannot take advice from the parents, take the advice from the church and embrace education as a very important thing in your life” after that, he went to the village to see the old people he was taking care of and disappeared from there to hanged himself without giving any reason as to why he made such a decision. “At that time, I was pregnant” said Joyce Nyoka.
When they found the body of her husband hanging in the bush, they brought it home, and therefore, a false allegation was made against her that she was responsible for the death of her husband reason being that, she must have conceived with a different man or she bewitched him that was why he committed suicide. Her in-laws all turned against her, they called her a prostitute, a witch and they mobilised all the elders in the clan to perform some ritual that she should get a problem and dies during her labour or before labour if she refuses to confess the truth. And this was done in the presence of all the people in the clan and people from her clan also were called to witness. She was made to swear before the people and she swore that she is innocent she did not do anything. So they remained waiting upon evil to happen to her before or during delivery which never happened. But still her in-laws have rejected together with the children up to date.
Immediately, the war worsened in South Sudan, she ran to Uganda with all the children and lost everything she had and life became hard. She hated herself and was bitter to her late husband for why he did such a thing and caused her to suffer. She saw no value for life, she became aggressive in the family, and she could beat the children in case a child makes any mistake. When a child askes for something, she could tell, “go and ask from your father in the grave” She was also biter with God and used to ask questions that why God allowed all these to happen to her.
But when she was invited to join the Trauma Healing Sessions conducted by PAG community volunteers by one of the volunteer, she went through the sessions and these sessions have made her understand herself. “I did not know why I was aggressive at home and tortured my children a lot but now I understand, I feel relieved ” said Joyce Nyoka. She continued in her speech saying, PAG has changed me and healed my pain through this programme. I thank PAG so much for helping me come out of that. The lost hope and love in my family is now restored back. May the Almighty God bless PAG.